Shakespeare's Othello holds a most exotic, complex and interesting villain of his tragedies. One could say that Iago's vision of the world is distorted and false and is therefore misleading to his fellow characters. Unequivocally, Iago plays an important and major function in the tragedy.
It is precisely Iago's warped philosophies about life that makes him both the play's villain and its most effective character. Iago always keeps the audience guessing as to his true personality until he so gracefully manipulates an inferior intellect or he has the opportunity to plan in solitude, then he can let his true colours shine through while preserving his "image". By far, in terms of stage time, soliloquies and the like, Iago supersedes any other character. He reveals himself to us, the audience, in Act1,Scene3; here he impresses upon Roderigo an eloquently worded speech unveiling his true feelings about love, life and Othello and we are given but a glimpse of the thinking behind the Machiavellian actions:.
"Virtue? A fig! "Tis in ourselves that we are thus, or thus. Our bodies are our gardens, to the which our wills are gardeners; so that if we will plant nettles or sow lettuce, set hyssop and weed up thyme, supply it with one gender of herbs or distract it with many-either to have it sterile with idleness or manured with industry-why, the power and corrigible authority of this lies in our wills. If the balance of our lives had not one scale of reason to poise our natures would conduct us to most prepost"rous conclusions. But we have reason to cool our raging motions, our carnal stings or unbitted lusts, whereof I take this that you call love to be a sect or scion."(ln.314-28).
"It is merely a lust of the blood and a permission of the will. Come, be a man! Drown thyself? Drown cats and blind puppies! I have professed me thy friend, and I confess me knit to thy deserving with cables of perdurable toughness.